This is the next post in my series on dealing with unpaid child support in Melbourne and other areas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you are not receiving support or need to modify your obligations. It is important that you speak with counsel so that arrears do not accrue, which can make the situation problematic. In this article I will discuss, as a general matter, how the Courts deal with those who do not pay support. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Parents can take immediate action against parents who do not pay their support on time
When a parent has been ordered to pay child support then they do not have a choice in the matter. A support obligation is like any order from the Court and it must be followed. Furthermore, support payments may not be put off to a later date or eliminated in bankruptcy. In some circumstances, under Florida law, a parent may even face felony charges for failing to pay support. Also, while it may be easy to fall behind on one’s payments, it is not difficult for the receiving person to enforce their rights.
The first step in taking action against a parent who is not paying their child support is to hold a Motion with the Court which asks that they be held in contempt. The Judge will schedule a hearing. If the offending parent cannot show good reason as to why they should not be held in contempt, then the Court will make such a finding. It is important to understand that the purpose of contempt proceedings is to force compliance with a court order. This means that the extent to which the judge will take measures against the non–paying party will be proportionate to what is needed to get them to pay their child support. If a warning is sufficient then the Judge will stop there. If the Judge believes that the offending parent will not comply without being jailed, then they will be incarcerated. How the Court will deal with any situation will always depend on the specifics of the case.
Melbourne parents should not hesitate to contact an attorney if the other parent is refusing to pay child support
It is strongly suggested that you contact an attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member are not receiving court-ordered support. The longer you allow arrears to accrue then the greater the chance that you will not receive the full amount which you are owed. At best, it will require more time for you to be fully compensated. By dealing with the situation now, you improve the chances of things not getting out of hand.
I am a Melbourne child support lawyer who assists those in collecting arrears. I devote my practice to the handling of domestic relations law and I understand that this is an important time in your life. My office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. I also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.